Mother doesn't want baby off life-support

February 18, 2008 3:46:48 PM PST
A mother is accused of dumping her newborn in a trashcan at a Houston hospital, a baby who has now been declared brain-dead. The mother told her lawyer she wants the best care for her child, even though she's accused of harming him. The mother's lawyer says his client hopes the baby survives, but is she capable of making the best decision for his care?

The baby is nine days old and has been on life-support the entire time. The baby's life raises sensitive questions about who will make important medical decisions for that child.

The baby boy was born in a bathroom at southwest Memorial Hermann Hospital last Saturday night. The child was found in a trash bin wrapped in paper towels. The mother, Genny Granados, remains behind bars charged with injury to a child, causing a medical predicament.

"The predicament is the person who has custody is his mother," said Estella Olguin with CPS. "The same person who can face additional charges if she were to remove the life-support, causing his death."

Children's Protective Services says the baby boy has no brain activity, which in Texas is considered legally dead. Our legal expert says deciding whether to keep the child on life-support can include other entities besides the mother.

"The mother should have no role in this," said KTRK legal analyst Joel Androphy. "The hospital is gonna decide whether or not the child is gonna continue on life support."

Granados' attorney says she told him the name of the baby's father. However, the father has not yet been found or interviewed by authorities. Granados had no intention, says her attorney, of abandoning or injuring her child. She was overwhelmed and speaking only Spanish, did not know how to communicate she had given birth.

"She was attempting to care for the baby when the baby slipped from her arms," said Elihu Dodier, Granados' attorney. "She was not, at no time did she indicate she was not wanting this child."

"There is suspicion she wants the child to remain alive so her charges won't be upgraded," we said to Dodier.

"At this point, she wants to keep the child alive," he responded. "She's not going to give consent to terminate this child's life until she knows what the situation is and she hasn't been given any information about the child."

The district attorney's office told me there is the possibility of upgrading charges to capital murder if the baby boy dies. Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital has classified the child as a 'no information' patient, preventing any release of information about the child. In the meantime, Granados still has legal custody of her son; a child, says her attorney, Granados has not yet named.

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